GM Extending Chevy Bolt Plant Shutdown To Scale Down Excess Supply

General Motors has extended a shutdown of the plant building the Chevy Bolt in a move to trim an oversupply of GM vehicles.

The Detroit automaker saw its overall new vehicle inventory hit a 10-year high in June. Promises were made to investors to scale it down from a steep 105 days supply to 70 days by the end of the year. Bolt inventory had gone from 104 days to 111 days during July.

The Bolt shares the Orion, Mich., plant with the Chevy Sonic. The company reports that Sonic sales have gone down 37 percent this year.

There’s no word yet on how long the Orion plant will be shut down, but it’s likely to be for a few weeks remaining in the summer.

The company has plans to add two-to-three weeks of shutdown at three other assembly plants. These vehicles include the Chevy Cruze in Lordstown, Ohio, and the Chevy Malibu near Kansas City, Miss, both getting an extra three weeks. The Oshawa, Ontario, plant, where the Chevy Impala is built, will get an extra two weeks.

During the first half of the year, 7,592 Bolts were sold. Launched in California and Oregon in December, GM had scheduled sales in 18 states by July and in all 50 states sometime between July and September.

One of the 18 states is Rhode Island. Fortune found that Paul Masse Chevrolet in East Providence, R.I., had an oversupply and was trying to sell it off through an internet ad on Monday. The dealer had more than 200 Bolts in inventory for sale, with sticker prices ranging from $35,688 to $41,488.

Data from HybridCar’s Dashboard shows that the Bolt came in third behind the Tesla Model S and Model X in U.S. battery electric vehicle sales during the first half of the year. There was a wide gap, with the Bolt coming at 7,592 units sold behind the 11,100 for the Model S and 9,100 for the Model X in estimated figures used for the Tesla vehicles.

The Bolt did beat out direct competitor Nissan Leaf, which had 7,248 vehicles sold during that time.

Car buyers did show more interest in the Chevy Bolt and Prius Prime, which saw 10,932 and 9,692 units sold, respectively, during the first six months of 2017.

Bolt sales were up 4.9 percent in June over May.

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The big question will be how the Bolt performs against the Tesla Model 3. Tesla is on track so far to hit production targets with 500,000 vehicles scheduled to be built next year, most of them being Model 3s.

The California carmaker had already taken over 400,000 down payments on the Model 3 with its $35,000 starting price. That could set the sales figures for next year, which at the present rate, would more than double Chevy Bolt sales.

Fortune


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